HART will become the first transit agency in Florida to convert from diesel to cleaner burning Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel produced in the U.S. HART is moving ahead with installation of a new CNG fueling station at its 21st Avenue Operations facility.
On Nov. 25, HART design builder, Clean Energy Inc., delivered the main equipment for the new fueling station. HART staff also recently traveled to Wisconsin for final acceptance testing of the 1.5 megawatt backup generator that is scheduled for delivery and installation this month.
Construction of the facility is an exciting, major project that involved installation of a 6-inch underground gas supply line provided by TECO Peoples Gas. The general contractor also built two massive foundation pads for the two sets of twin compressors, and electrical conduit to enable the new compressing station to connect with existing fueling lanes.
The innovative and pioneering CNG system will be in full swing after construction, installation, testing, and preparation and will be fully operational by spring 2014. Among HART goals is to promote the use of CNG throughout its region and continue to reach out to our regional counterparts for cost-saving partnerships.
HART has put into effect a plan to purchase a new fleet of 28 CNG vans that would hit the road once the new CNG station goes live next spring. Later in 2014 HART plans to have the first of a projected fleet of nearly a dozen CNG buses ready to put into service in the Tampa Bay area. By the end of 2015 there should be a total of 89 CNG vehicles in service at HART. These new CNG vehicles rely on technology that makes them more maintenance free for greater longevity while significantly reducing the carbon footprint and dependence on foreign oil.
According to an October 2013 report ordered by the U.S. Department of Energy, the average price per gallon of regular gasoline in the USA was $3.27 and for diesel it was $3.88. But for the equivalent amount of CNG fuel the price was only $2.26.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that natural gas vehicles (NGVs) produce lower levels of harmful emissions, including greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and toxic and carcinogenic pollutants.
CNG is already widely used across the country to generate clean electricity, run manufacturing plants, heat and cool homes, and fuel both private and public transportation.